Following media inquiries regarding the unavailability of certain antibiotic medicines at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) and other health clinics, the Ministry of Health and Medical Services would like to inform that while these medicines are in limited supply, there are alternative antibiotics still in sufficient stock that can be used. Other measures such as rationing and repositioning of these limited medicines are also being undertaken.
These antibiotics in limited supply include cloxacillin, Flagyl, benzylpenicillin, and ceftriaxone, and others, all commonly used for treating a wide of bacterial infections.
Order for these antibiotics has already been placed to suppliers overseas however delays with shipment have prolonged their arrival into the country. The new estimated time of arrival of these supplies is scheduled for next following week.
On this note, the Ministry of Health is very grateful to the government of Australia for its proactive support in mobilizing a consignment of these antibiotic drugs that are scheduled to arrive in the country tomorrow.
In the meantime, as part of its response to the situation, the National Medical Store of the Ministry of Health is using these alternative antibiotics as well as rationing and recalling certain quantities of these antibiotics from some of the health facilities across the country that still have enough supplies. This is important to enable the repositioning of these limited antibiotics to where their demand is high.
Health, for now, is prioritizing NRH for the medicines that will be recalled from the provinces to be followed by other provincial hospitals and clinics that also reported of low antibiotic supplies.
While doing so, health is advising the public to only take antibiotics if prescribed by doctors and refrain from making requests for these drugs through their family members or friends working in the health facilities.
An internal memo will also be issued to medical workers across the country to ensure that they prescribe antibiotics only when necessary as part of rationing.
Once the new stock of antibiotic supplies arrives, health will ensure that they are swiftly distributed to health facilities across the country to replenish and maintain antibiotic stock.
As part of its efforts to address such a situation in the future, health in the past month had conducted an audit into the procurement management systems and findings from this audit have been deliberated on and implementation has commenced.